Voicing Dissent

I guess first off I should point out that anyone who threatens someone over the phone via voicemail is both an idiot and a douchebag. You may not like what someone does, but you can be sure that doing that practically guarantees that you’re going to lose the battle, if not the war. And the repercussions of those actions are long-term bad things.

So, whomever left that voice mail, which is part of the audio in Emilie Ritter’s Report on HB 516’s demise, I’m sad that you’ve gotten to this point in your life. I kinda hope they don’t figure out who you are and you can sneak away under a rock and really think about what you’ve done. However, given that you called a cell phone, and it was to an elected official, I’m pretty sure you’re going to get some really fun company real soon.

But Kev,” I hear you cry, “you call people nasty names, yell, bite, scream and act like an ass all the time. We’ve read your twitter stream, it’s kinda who you are. How can you think this isn’t the same thing?

And to you I say, “Easy.”

First, I’ve never threatened anyone on twitter. If I’ve used threatening language in person, it’s done in the tone of sarcasm and humor that is part and parcel of who I am. More importantly, I’m a firm believer that, while words matter, intent is more important by far. If your intent is to make someone else feel threatened or endangered, you’re doing it wrong. If your intent is to drive home a point, and make someone think, that’s fine. And if you do it in a way that gets a laugh, all the better.

For instance, if I call someone a sniveling douchebag, there’s really not an attack there, that’s my opinion. I don’t actually think that person is a phlegm-drizzling, nostrilated plastic sack. I see them as human, but not particularly good human. They see that I don’t particularly like them, and trust me when I say this as clarification of who I am, it’s usually that I just don’t like them right now. I don’t usually hate anyone.

Hell, I don’t even hate Kristi Allen-Gailushas or Tim Ravndal or even Harris Himes. I disagree with them, I hate their positions, and I have massive issues with them when they do things that I know to be destructive, but I don’t have time for hate. I have time for lunch.

And while this blog post is probably a bit late for a “I better explain who I am to people” I felt it was necessary because of the sniveling, whiney, breathless-with-dread recitation that Rep. Kristen Hansen gave in that interview linked above.

Yes, she has every right to think she’s in danger from that voice mail. Yes, it’s scary when you’re on the side that is unpopular and causing such hurt that people start to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Her reaction to that is reasonable.

Her reaction and complaint about being “accosted” in person, in Helena, and having people “shaking their fingers” at her is not reasonable, it’s laughable. Sorry lady, it’s your own damn fault.

Well, no, that’s not completely true. It’s the fault of everyone on the House Judiciary committee, especially it’s idiotic chairman, Rep. Peterson. As the committee decided to not give everyone a chance to speak their minds, and as you, Ms. Hansen, have sponsored a bill because a bigot asked you to, it’s your fault. The people will be heard, either in committee or in public, and when you try to stifle our right to tell you what we think by limiting the time and blocking our access you’re going to be confronted when you’re recognized in public.

One of those confrontations was a friend of mine when you were at a basketball game. Yes, he read you the riot act. Yes, he was appalled that you were in the same space as him. Yes, he told you, point blank, he couldn’t believe he had to share the same air as you. Yes, he was angry. Yes, you saw his anger and probably felt very uncomfortable about it.

Be glad it was him. He’s much nicer, much quieter, and much more civil tongued than I would have been. I know every four-, five-, six- and seven-letter-word that I would use to describe you and your actions to your face. I can quote scripture that demands the same fate for you that Harris Himes wants for me. I can be mean, witty, bitchy, cunty, evil and outright scary when I’m made at something. Your bill, and the other’s like it, are on my last gay nerve, so don’t think I wouldn’t have said something to you just as he did. I can and would have made you cry and leave.

I would not have broken any law, nor would you have been able to stop anything I said. I’m protected by the same amendment that protects you when you get up and lie about why you’re supporting this law. I’m protected by the same law that allows Harris Himes to say I deserve to die for being gay.

My friend was pissed with you, and he let you know. I’m pissed with you, and I’ve let you know, here and on twitter, and if I get a chance to speak to you in person, now that I’ve calmed down I may not make you cry, but you’ll still know how I feel.

Leaving an anonymous voicemail threat is the sign of a coward. And cowards have no place in democracy.

We all have the freedom to speak, but we are required to have the courage to do so so everyone knows who said what. That’s the deal. And, while you may not like what we have to say, the feeling’s mutual, darlin’.

1 comment

  1. Thanks Kev for writing what so many of us wanted to say.

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